The archery clinic is over and I’ve had a few days to reflect. The only word that comes to mind is AWESOME!
The Soldiers and Veterans worked so hard from the first arrow to the last every day. The basic concept of this archer clinic was to prepare these Archers for the final selection for a position on the Army Archery Team for competition in the 2012 Warrior Games, being held in Colorado Springs Colorado April 30 to May 5. The clinic went off without one hitch and that’s due to many supporters such as; American Legion Post 15, Dartfish, American Whitetail, Hansen International, Gamecock Body Shop, Coke-Cola, Crossroads Archery.
18 Shooters came to my home town of Sumter, South Carolina with hopes of wearing the Army colors in this year’s Warrior Games. Of these 18 shooters 8 were picked to come back to Sumter in March for the finial pick of the team. These 8 archers will be joined by several other archers who couldn’t make the January clinic. From these archers we’ll pick out the Army team consisting of 4 compound and 4 recurve archers to compete in an indoor setting shooting 6 arrows at a 40cm multi-color Vegas target face, at 18 meters. The only difference from competing in Vegas is the number of arrows. The same pressure is there, you feel the entire world on your shoulders, and the audience is louder with each branch of service cheering their teams to a Gold Metal.
Now archery isn’t the only sport at this event as there are a total of 7 events; archery, wheelchair basketball, sitting volley ball, air rifle/air pistil, track and field, swimming and cycling. 250 Soldiers and Veterans will converge on Colorado Spring from all 5 branches of service to compete in these events hoping for a Gold Medal. Kind of like a mini Olympics for our Wounded Warriors. These Warriors suffer from tarmac brain injury, multiple surgeries, missing limbs, and many other injuries that they received in the line of duty.
My clinic was for the archery team, which represent only 1/7 of the scheduled events. You could just feel the intensity and the spirit of the event. Myself being an archer for the past 25 years I have to admit these Soldiers and Veterans worked so hard to better themselves. Working through many issues from experience to equipment breakage and being sore and tired from all the arrows shot. I’m so proud of the Soldiers and Veterans; it just inspires me to work even harder as their Coach and a completive Archer.
To everyone reading this; thank you so very much for your support of Archery and the Soldiers and Veterans of this Great Nation. So I ask you to spread the word about this program and you can always get involved at a military installation near you.
Now let’s not forget all the people behind the scenes; WTC, USOC, WTU and all Officers and NCOs who support such a wonderful program as this. I know there are many others I don’t know out there who have spent the time to help a Soldier or Veteran, people just like you. My hats off to all of you, thank you.
Photos from the clinic:
Soldiers Veterans Take Aim Warrior Transition Command Archery Clinic Article Read Article at dvidshub.net
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